PD10: Professional Responsibility in Computing

PD10: Professional Responsibility in Computing focuses on the legal and ethical issues that surround the use and development of software. What are the copyright laws affecting pieces of software? How do warranties and license agreements shape the ways in which we use software? What do computing professionals need to do to act ethically? Students who take PD10 explore and answer these questions with interactive lectures and thought-provoking assessments.

What do PD10 students do?

  • Navigate rights as a software creator and user through end-user license agreements and warranties
  • Understand data privacy issues, privacy laws, and how to obtain meaningful consent online
  • Apply the IEEE-CS/ASM Software Code of Ethics and Professional Practice to workplace scenarios

Student testimonials

  • "I like this course for its informative nature and case studies. It's really effective at giving an awareness of the ethical and legal playing ground in the digital world."
  • "Course content is extremely relevant to the software development field, particularly the paperwork aspects that we have very little exposure to and usually leave to other departments to handle. Would see this all as extremely useful if you intend to develop and release your own software, such as open source projects."

Course instructor

Jo Atlee

jo atlee

Dr. Atlee is a professor in the Cheriton School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo. She earned a BSc double degree in Computer Science and Physics at the College of William and Mary and MSc and PhD degrees in Computer Science at the University of Maryland. She researches and teaches in software engineering, focusing on software requirements and design, modelling of software systems, and automated analysis of software models. She helped to found Waterloo's Software Engineering (BSE) degree program and was its first Director.

Contact information

You can reach the PD10 course team at pd10@uwaterloo.ca.